Guest Post: The Magnitude of the Minutiae

God’s splendour is a tale that is told by the stars. Space itself speaks his story every day through the marvels of the heavens. His truth is on tour showing his skill in creation’s craftmanship. Each day gushes out its message to the next. Without a sound, without a word, without a voice being heard, yet all the world can see its story.

Psalm 19: 1-4[1]

I am repeatedly amazed how powerfully God speaks through his creation. Its vastness and intricacies whisper from God to anyone who will listen ‘I created you, I know your every detail, and love you so much’. In moments when I’ve felt lost I’ve walked by the shore and found that the expanse of the sea awakens a trust and renewed security in the one who is greater than I. At my lowest point looking up and counting the tiny stars in the black canopy above reminded me of God’s sovereignty, and all the happiest times in my life have embraced my senses with special smells, touches, tastes, sounds and sights, handcrafted by our creator God, helping memories to linger.

IMG_3250As an artist I’m excited by the extravagant dimensions and intimate details I see in nature, the colours, the patterns, the unique masterpieces and the repetition. I see a joyfulness in the very act of creating and I seek to reflect these things in my own work.

Although my pictures aren’t figurative they are full of symbols and shapes taken straight from nature, helping me express God’s heart to people through my art. I paint, hoping to express and bring something of heaven down to earth; as a reminder to those who know God and as an invitation to those who don’t. I have the privilege of painting live on a regular basis in various settings (from churches to on the streets of Cambridge). On each occasion I seek God beforehand, asking him for encouragements to share with people through my work, then I praise and pray while I’m painting. Let me share some pictures with you to explain further (all of these were painted live).

HOLY OVERSHADOWING, 2016

You, God, shield me on all sides, you ground my feet and you lift my head. Rested, tall and steady. Your blessing clothes your people, what a feast of favour and bliss you give us!

Psalm 3:3

9. Holy Overshadowing
Holy Overshadowing © Kate Green

In this piece I have used shapes similar to seeds, pods and cells which represent a person’s soul or inner self, their potential and their vulnerability. I have used symbolic colours, the contrast between the hugeness of God (blue sky) and our fragility (flesh pink), between the mundane (pavement grey) and the supernatural (sunshine yellow/gold). The overshadowing of God’s holiness is represented by a star constellation-type cloud. This speaks of God’s protection and sheltering. He is our safe place and the lifter of our head.

DUCKS IN A ROW, 2017

The Lord directs our steps, he delights in every detail of our lives. Though we stumble, we will never fall, for the Lord holds us by the hand.

Psalm 37:23

Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

Matt 6:33

5.Ducks in a row - Feb MR
Ducks in a row © Kate Green

This speaks of God being a God of order and detail. As we rest in him, focus on him, trust him, he takes care of everything else. Spend time at his feet, bring your perfume, bring your tears, bring your attention, come as you are.

This painting is inspired by God’s incredible attention to detail within his beautiful and ordered creation. He knows the number of hairs on our head, he calls the stars by name, he saw us in our mother’s womb. The tiny spots of colour and splashes of light reflect the intricacies of his care, creativity and sovereignty. From dust particles that catch the sunlight and blossom petals that fall with the breeze, to the equations and calculations that hold the whole universe in perfect balance.

YET STILL, 2017

Though the cherry trees don’t blossom, the strawberries don’t ripen, the apples are worm eaten and the wheat fields stunted. Though the sheep pens are sheepless and cattle barns empty. YET STILL I will sing joyful praise to God, rejoicing in the God of my salvation. He is my strength.

Habakkuk 3

Even in my disappointment I will praise you, Even in my hopeless places I will give thanks.

Lyrics from ‘Overcomer’ by Lucy Grimble

22. Yet Still - Cambourne April
Yet Still © Kate Green

This painting is about giving a sacrifice of praise. There are times when joyfulness and worship are easy, and times when it’s a choice, a decision. My painting shows ‘bubbles’ of praise rising upwards, one after the other, layer on layer. A pouring of ourselves, a praising through tears (I have dripped paint and wiped it like tears) From the sorrowful cloudy-day greys, to quiet hopes of light blue skies & new-shoot greens, then on to transformation and strengthening joy (represented by the brighter colours of flowers). Blistering type marks symbolise perseverance.

I am particularly drawn to the each end of the spectrum of God’s creation. I wrote earlier about the comfort I’ve found gazing at the sea and the stars, but my other favourite places are behind the macro lens of my camera, lying in the dirt observing raindrops caught in the hairs on a leaf, or poring through my husband’s medical text books at images taken through microscopes. So I’ll end with a poem that I wrote after sketching and meditating on the teeny tiny things that God has made.

MAGNITUDE OF MINUTIAE

Seeing beyond, beneath, behind

Drawing out detail

Calling out the gold

Connections

Paradigm of the lovely

Always more

Unnoticed, untold

Acknowledged and significant

The magnitude of the minutiae

No stone unturned

Extravagant play in obscurity

Intricacy shouts glory, shouts holy, shouts worthy

Intimacy singing songs of love

Passion to communicate

You entered the minuscule

Deepest needs met

Pardoned, made whole

Understood, with purpose

Accepted, adored, aghast

Held in your delight

Embraced in the detail.

[1] All Bible passages are in the Passion translation

Come see Kate’s art and meet her in person at Cambridge Open Studios 1st & 2nd July (www.camopenstudios.co.uk/user/1083).

meKate Green moved to Cambridge nearly 25 years ago to train as an art teacher at Homerton College, where she met her husband Nick and became a member of City Church. Since then she has worked as a teacher, the church’s youth worker, led the children’s ministry, and raised a family. In 2015 the youngest of Kate and Nick’s three daughters started school, and Kate became a full time artist working from her garden studio and receiving weekly coaching via Skype from the USA. One and a half years ago she was invited to paint at the front of City Church’s services as part of the worship team, once a month. She is passionate about stirring creativity in others and seeks to develop the arts within the church, including curating the church’s gallery space. www.flourishandfly.co.uk

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